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Clean, Dry Clothes Are On The Way For Rescue Workers & Volunteers in Oso

Silverdale resident Amy Varshock couldn't stand the idea of Oso rescue works and volunteers wearing wet, muddy clothes day after day, possibly sleeping in them. So she has set up a major laundry operation at the Suds & Duds in Arlington. (Creative Commons)

There are so many things we take for granted everyday, like taking a shower and doing our laundry. That’s what Amy Varshock became fixated on after listening to dozens of news stories about the rescue effort up in Oso. Amy commutes from Silverdale to her business, Denture Essentials, in Mt. Vernon, and she passes through Arlington. While driving through this week, she thought about how the rescue workers, volunteers in the field and locals who lost their homes and possessions don’t have a way to get into clean, dry clothes.

“They are soggy, muddy clothes. They don’t ever dry out. They’re up there and they stay wet. So you’re going to put on cold, muddy, soggy clothes tomorrow. I couldn’t get it out of my head that you probably would be sleeping in those same clothes that don’t dry out.”

So Amy took it upon herself to find a way to get these people’s clothes clean. She contacted all the Laundromats in the area.

“I actually called them all! And then Suds & Duds in Arlington said, ‘Hey, we can do this. We’ve got soap from Costco and we’ve got some bags from Costco. So if you can get us the laundry and get us some volunteers and get us some extra washers and dryers.’ I did. I’ve just been making calls and trying to text everybody that I know.”

She says they can handle up to a thousand pounds of laundry a day, and people can drop off their dirty clothes at the Darrington Community Center. Just put the laundry in a provided bag, with your name on it, and eight hours later your clothes will be returned clean and dry. Since they’ll be using the big industrial washers at Suds & Duds, heavy work jackets and dog beds are perfectly fine.

“We’re going to wash it, dry it, bag it, and get it back to the Darrington Community Center so they can get it up to the teams on the mountain. We’re going to keep it going seven days a week.”

Suds & Duds has agreed to let them do laundry for free indefinitely, and Amy’s plan is to do loads at 9am and again at 2pm every day.

If you’d like to donate laundry detergent, there are special instructions:

“The kind of laundry detergent that works best in the machines is the Eco detergent from Costco. So we emailed them and asked them if they’d send us more of that because not every laundry detergent is as gentle in the machine. We want to make sure that the machines last as long as possible for this, even if it’s months.”

If you’d like to help Amy transport laundry or wash clothes, you can email

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